Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Satyam's Sponsorship Of World Cup In Trouble?


Soccer's international governing body, FIFA, could very well be looking for a new information technology sponsor for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, with its current sponsor in major trouble.

SatyamComputer Services has been called by some "India's Enron" after its founder and chairman B. Ramalinga Raju admitted last week that he had been fudging numbers for years. Raju and his brother have been jailed and the company's CFO has been arrested.

Raju signed the agreement himself with FIFA president Sepp Blatter in November 2007. At the time, it was announced as the first major sponsorship the IT services company had ever entered into. Given the state of the economy, if the deal is undone, it's assumed that it will be hard to match the payment made by Satyam.

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Satyam is one of six World Cup sponsors for the 2010 and 2014 games, which will be played in South Africa and Brazil, respectively. Other sponsors include Budweiser, Castrol, McDonald's , MTN (telecom) and Continental (automotive). The World Cup partners, the level above sponsors, pay about $90 million per World Cup. Sponsors pay significantly less, but suffice it to say that millions of dollars are on the line if Satyam falls through.

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